MANIFEST A WASTE, SO GIVE THE NEW DOC­TOR A VISIT

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND - IN­SIDER WORDS: WENLEI MA Doc­tor Who con­tin­ues Mon­day at 6pm on ABC-TV.

It could’ve been so good – a flashy new se­ries with a gen­uinely in­trigu­ing con­cept. In­stead, it’s a to­tal waste.

Manifest, air­ing Wed­nes­days on Nine, is the high­est-rat­ing new US se­ries and it ac­tu­ally has a pretty in­trigu­ing hook.

Al­most 200 pas­sen­gers and crew board a plane in Ja­maica, bound for New York. Af­ter one tur­bu­lent episode, when they fi­nally land in NYC, they’re sur­rounded by flash­ing lights and scur­ry­ing fed­eral agents.

That’s when one of the men in black tells them, they boarded their flight in April 2013 and it’s now 2018, they’ve been miss­ing and pre­sumed dead for five years. Not one of the peo­ple on the plane has aged a day.

It’s aim­ing to be a high-con­cept se­ries in the vein of Lost, The Leftovers, The 4400 and The Re­turned, a drama deal­ing with the fall-out of what hap­pened to that plane and how these peo­ple fit back into the lives that moved on with­out them.

But de­spite its prom­ise, it de­volves into cheesy sen­ti­men­tal­ity a la Touched by An An­gel with its maybe-ex­pla­na­tion of whose hand was be­hind the in­ci­dent.

Oh, and some of the peo­ple on the flight now have spe­cial pow­ers where they hear voices and sounds that help them save peo­ple. What a waste.

So what to watch in­stead? If you’re a non-Who­vian, like me, give the new sea­son of Doc­tor Who a go.

It’s a new era for the iconic, long-run­ning Bri­tish sci-fi se­ries. A new Doc­tor, in the form of a woman, and a new writ­ing team with an al­most-blank slate to re­ally make their mark – so any­one can jump into Doc­tor Who with­out the weight of 55 years of TV his­tory to con­tend with.

Jodie Whit­taker (Broad­church) as the Thir­teenth Doc­tor has an amaz­ing en­ergy – at times manic, at times nur­tur­ing and, at all times, re­ally like­able. “Oh, bril­liant” were the first words the new Doc­tor ut­tered and “oh, bril­liant” is ex­actly what Whit­taker is go­ing to be.

It’s pretty great – es­pe­cially if you’re look­ing for an ad­ven­ture story you can share with your kids.

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